Tax Preparers Plead Guilty to Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns
Michegel Butler and Brittany Patterson, residents of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to defraud the United States, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Patterson also pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns.
According to court documents, Butler owned Crown Tax Service LLC, located in Kenner, Louisiana, and Patterson worked there as a tax return preparer. From approximately January 2013 through April 2013, Butler, Patterson, and others conspired to inflate their clients’ refunds by preparing returns falsely claiming Schedule C businesses, dependents, and dependent care expenses. To substantiate the false expenses, the conspirators directed clients to fill out fraudulent receipts. They also encouraged some clients to buy or sell dependents that could be used on tax returns.
When sentenced, Butler and Patterson each face a maximum sentence of five years, three years of supervised release, restitution, and other monetary penalties. Patterson also faces an additional maximum sentence of three years imprisonment for each count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.commended special agents of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Lauren Castaldi and Jessica Kraft of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Dall Kammer, who prosecuted the case.